Intended for healthcare professionals


Offering Avastin for wet AMD is legal, says appeal court

BMJ 2020; 368 doi: (Published 27 March 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;368:m1273
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. The BMJ

The Court of Appeal has ruled unanimously that a policy of offering bevacizumab (Avastin) off label to NHS patients with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) as an alternative to the much more expensive drugs ranibizumab (Lucentis) and aflibercept (Eylea) is lawful.1

In a major judgment with far reaching implications for the NHS and the drug industry, the three judges rejected arguments by the drug companies Novartis and Bayer that the policy breached EU law on medicines and UK legislation.

Twelve clinical commissioning groups in the north of England adopted a policy in 2017 that the NHS trusts providing services to them should offer patients a choice between bevacizumab, licensed as a cancer treatment but not …

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